Problem Executives?

Problem executives can cause chaos within an organisation, and leave Board members and CEOs struggling to find ethical and manageable solutions whilst keeping their reputation and leadership in tact.

With over 35 years of experience in providing fast and ethical solutions to sensitive people issues, Ian Sampson provides leaders with the certainty and fresh perspective they need when dealing with problem executives.

Mentoring is usually conducted in a one to one situation. Coaching and advisory services can be one to one or in small groups. Coaching and mentoring multiple individuals in organisations is one of Ian’s specialties. Fees are ideally based on agreed programs over 6 month timeframes.

Please contact Ian for a confidential discussion regarding your people issues.

Problem Executives Recommendation

It is not possible to publish recommendations here without breaching confidentiality requirements for the organisations concerned. In camera details can be provided on request.

Problem Executives Case study – Clash Of Personalities & Performance Issues

A CEO of a listed public company engaged Ian to advise on the best approach to immediately terminating an executive who reported directly to the CEO.

It quickly became apparent that there was a clash of personalities as well as performance problems. The CEO intended to take unilateral action and pay the executive a very generous separation package to make the problem go away.

As often happens, there were no effective performance management plans in place for the executive. Ian advised the CEO about the risks of litigation, even with a generous severance arrangement.

The CEO was also persuaded by Ian to confer with the Chairman of the Board before taking action.

During a series of three way conversations between the Chair, Ian and the CEO, the CEO realised that he had not done sufficient work to prove a performance problem to the Board, sufficient to allow them to discharge their responsibilities under the Delegations Policy. The Chair was also concerned that the intended action breached several policies. Further, the CEO eventually disclosed that the personality conflicts were affecting his health and contributing to high levels of fear amongst other senior staff. The organisation was assessing the CEO’s leadership capability as well as watching to see if the executive concerned was dealt with appropriately.

The CEO decided to postpone a final plan until he had taken some leave. During that time he discussed several conversation pointers with his wife.

When he returned to work he decided to see if he could work out the interpersonal issues with the executive while at the same time clarifying his performance expectations of the executive.

Ian assisted the CEO in designing the performance and interpersonal conversations. Over several weeks the CEO and Executive met frequently. By redefining their relationship the Executive was able to disclose that he was feeling overwhelmed in his role and wanted to find a way to step back without losing status.

At this stage the CEO agreed with Ian that the HR executive should be brought in and she worked with the CEO and the Executive on a reassignment that achieved all parties’ objectives.

At a final meeting with the CEO and Chair, the Chair noted the learnings: the importance of always acting consistently with the company values, the need for presenting problems to be well enough understood to identify any underlying issues and the personal growth exhibited by the CEO.